The offbeat groom: Robert, Project Coordinator (and Offbeat Bride member)
His offbeat partner: Cecily, homeless outreach manager
Date and location of wedding: Papaloa Beach, Kauai, HI — October 23, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Cecily and I were set on a Hawaiian destination beach wedding even before we were officially engaged. We wanted the feel of an elopement: simple, small, and most importantly, fun, without the secrecy and urgency. We broke tradition by helping each other get ready for our day. I even picked up her dress from our new Hawaiian friends who pressed our outfits the night before while Cecily was out getting pampered.
We went barefoot and had music performed by a native Hawaiian guitarist. Cecily wanted to honor her culture, so we added a jumping the broom ceremony to our wedding, where I proceeded to lose my lei. We had a spiritual, interfaith ceremony with a custom script.
Our ceremony on Kauai was actually a continuation of our handfasting a year earlier, where we were able to include some of our closest friends. On Kauai, however, it was an intimate affair with just Cecily, her mom, and me.
Instead of a traditional reception, we went to the Smith Family Garden Luau. Interestingly, the man who issued our marriage license also MCed the luau with the rest of the Smith family. The highlight of the luau was dancing to the “Hawaiian Wedding Song” along with the other newlyweds.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was a spiritual Hawaiian wedding with a mixture of our own spiritual and cultural traditions. Our officiant had the guitarist say a Hawaiian chant, then signaled the start of the ceremony with a conch shell blown in four important directions to the Hawaiian people. We did have a lei exchange, as well as the exchanging of rings, which are silver and copper interwoven.
Our broom was bought on the mainland, but we decorated it on Kauai, using the handmade cords from our handfasting and shell lei and flowers found on the beautiful garden island. Cecily's mom placed the broom in the sand as our officiant read the history of the tradition. After a “1, 2, 3,” Cecily and I, hands held, jumped over the broom, landing in the sand laughing and giggling as my lei flew off.
Our biggest challenge:
I wanted to be that future husband who was super helpful, and interested in every detail of the wedding planning. I'd be lying if I said I helped in every aspect of the planning, but I did try. Being a member of the Offbeat Bride Tribe helped keep me on task, at least a little.
Other than that, we had very few challenges. Our wedding planner on Kauai was amazing, and we felt at ease taking care of some of the last-minute, on-location to-dos thanks to her.
My favorite moment:
The whole day was magical, as was the rest of our stay on Kauai, but a few key moments that I'll cherish forever do stick out in my mind. Watching Cecily laugh and smile all day long was exciting and calming at the same time. Dancing on the beach with our guitarist playing John Legend's “All of Me,” and jumping our hand-decorated broom also helped tie in so many parts of our relationship.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently?
My first wedding was a traditional Catholic wedding (without the Eucharist) with both families attending. It was a much larger wedding, and surprisingly, much more expensive than Cecily's and my Hawaiian destination wedding/honeymoon. The quieter, more intimate setting meant that Cecily and I were able to focus on each other more. We were also able to relax. Cecily was worried that the day would go by too quickly, and would be a blur, so we spent a lot of our honeymoon talking and reminiscing about the ceremony, and various parts of our trip.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Groom's outfit: Express.
- Bride's convertible wrap dress: Coralie Beatrix
- Bride's engagement ring: The Flying Fox Arts
- Wedding bands: Misc and Miscellany
- Bride's barefoot sandals: Lotus Roots Creations
- Her headpiece (with Dolphins!): Pretty Natali
- Her jewelry: LaLa Crystal
- Wedding planner on Kauai: Jessica of Ali Kauai Weddings
- Photography: Naomi Wong Photography
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!